The Women Policy Center or as entitled by ‘HEYA’ Program (‘She’) is the latest project to be undertaken and spearheaded by the Academy for International Development – Middle East and North Africa (AID-MENA) and five other partner NGO’s across separate countries in the MENA region; Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Yemen and Tunisia.
Women have continuously been either under- or misrepresented by their governments due to political structures, social stigmas or just a misconception of a woman’s role in today’s society (most evidenced by the patriarchal and tribal leaders that govern their circles, of whom, garner a great deal of respect and influence over their people). Over time, this has led to the voices of women to be silenced. It is here where women are marginalized the greatest and discriminated against the most and it is here where they require a much greater level of representation.
Is an enormous undertaking, and looks to affect a great number of people in the MENA region, directly and indirectly, all of whom we hope will have a positive impact on their country’s future.
We at AID-MENA and its partners feel that the exclusion of women from institutions and decision making positions is a gross miscarriage of justice and a great waste of a nations full potential. Women have a huge role to play in the development and progression of its country through better social conventions, political restructurings and economic involvement.
The HEYA program, as the name suggests, focuses particularly on strengthening the capacity of women in the selected countries through knowledge transfer, skill enhancement and information sharing with the overall objective to increase women’s active participation in public spheres in the MENA region for sustainable and gender equitable changes in policies and practices.
The HEYA Program will run for duration of 3 years, over which time, everyone involved in the program will look to affect serious change throughout the region by giving women the training required to engross themselves in political affairs as well as give them the suitable opportunities to have a significant influence on their society.
The main aims of the HEYA program is, after their training at the Women Policy Centers (WPCs), to give them the abilities needed to write and publish policy papers with regard to legislation and law reform that will give greater freedoms and rights, not only for women, but for the populace as a whole. To complement the new skills and proficiency that the participants of the HEYA program have learned throughout their time in the WPCs, numerous media campaigns will also be organized so as to give women an appropriate platform to engage with the public and have positive impressions for other women, the youth and the men as well.